babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


  
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » archived babble   » the middle east and central asia   » Kerry won't pressure Israel

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Kerry won't pressure Israel
The_Calling
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5377

posted 07 May 2004 10:54 PM      Profile for The_Calling   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
link


A Kerry administration would avoid the pressure other presidents have used to nudge Israel in peace negotiations, and would consult closely with the Jewish state before launching any new Mideast peace initiative.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, outlined his approach to Middle East peacemaking in an interview with JTA on Monday, the same day he launched his campaign to win Jewish votes with a major policy speech to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Kerry has been working hard to mitigate the effect in the Jewish community of President Bush’s extraordinary concessions to Israel last month, when the president recognized some Israeli claims to the West Bank and rejected any right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel.

The Jewish vote could play a crucial role in 10 swing states in what is likely to be a close election this fall, and Kerry is on a fund-raising drive that needs a strong turnout among the Democrats’ broad base of Jewish donors. His ADL speech sounded a range of notes aimed at pleasing Jewish ears — on civil rights, anti-Semitism and Israel.

"For the entire 20 years that I have been in the United States Senate, I’m proud that my commitment to a secure Jewish state has been unwavering; not even by one vote or one letter or one resolution has it wavered," Kerry said to the applause of the ADL audience. "As president, I can guarantee you that that support and that effort for our ally, a vibrant democracy, will continue."

That’s a guarantee that Bush — or for that matter, almost any of his predecessors — easily could make. In his subsequent interview with JTA, Kerry sought to elaborate on what would distinguish his presidency vis-a-vis Israel.

"I’m very sensitive to the pushback that came from overly aggressive presidents who tried to just advance the title" of a peace process, "without the substance," Kerry told JTA. "There’s always been a feeling of concessions driven without a return on it. I will never voice a concession that somehow puts Israel’s judgment of its security at risk."

The only president Kerry cited specifically was President Clinton. He praised Clinton for his efforts as an "honest broker" between Israelis and Palestinians, but acknowledged, "Some people, obviously there are a few people, who felt he pushed too hard."

Clinton pressed Israel into offering unexpectedly large concessions at the Camp David summit in 2000.

Kerry also said his belief in a multilateral approach to foreign affairs did not apply to Israel.

"The multilateral community has always been very difficult with respect to Israel, and we have always stood up against their efforts to isolate Israel," he said.

Kerry said his criticism of what he calls the Bush administration’s unilateralism has to do with the administration of Iraq, environmental issues and containment of North Korea.

"None of that changes my record being wary [of] the way the U.N. has been used as a sort of battering ram with respect to Israel," Kerry said.

Kerry reiterated his endorsement of Bush’s recent concessions to Israel in exchange for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s commitment to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and a portion of the West Bank.

"‘Right of return’ is a nonstarter. We need to get a note of reality into these discussions," he said.

Likewise, refusing to recognize the permanence of some settlements is "disingenuous," Kerry said.

Sharon’s Likud Party rejected the settlements-for-withdrawal deal in a referendum Sunday, a blow to the Bush administration’s hopes of claiming at least one victory for its otherwise battered Middle East posture.

Kerry suggested that if Bush made mistakes it had to do with how he framed the deal, which caught U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East off guard.

"There might have been ways in which the administration might have done diplomacy around this in a more effective way," he said.

Kerry said he would encourage America’s Arab allies to get more involved in developing alternatives to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. He faulted the Bush administration for not seizing the moment immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when Arab nations might have been more susceptible to persuasion.

"There was an opportunity to perhaps take advantage of their sensitivity to being hauled over the front pages of every newspaper of the world when it happened," he said. "There were some opportunities there to advance the accountability factor, the transparency factor, perhaps to get them to do a more overt effort to helping some kind of legitimate entity to emerge with which Israel could, in fact, negotiate."

Kerry said he pressed those issues with Arab leaders when he toured the region in January 2002.

If elected, Kerry said, his first step with regard to the Middle East would be to consult with Israeli and U.S. Jewish leaders.

"I’m not about to go off on some grand design. We’ve got to see where we are in terms of security, in terms of where is the government of Israel at that point in time," Kerry said.

He also backed off an earlier commitment to send a presidential envoy to the region. The people he proposed — Clinton, President Jimmy Carter or former Secretary of State James Baker — angered some supporters of Israel.

Kerry also agreed with the policy of isolating Arafat, whom Israel and the Bush administration accuse of ties to terrorism.

"He’s where he appropriately belongs now, which is on the sidelines," Kerry said.

Kerry demonstrated a fluency with the issues, citing first century Jewish historian Josephus Flavius and tossing in an allusion to the efforts of Menachem Begin, the late Israeli prime minister, to return the Gaza Strip to Egypt during peace negotiations in the 1970s.

Meeting afterward with Daniel Ayalon, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Kerry also showed an interest in internal Israeli politics, asking why Sharon had risked putting his withdrawal plan to a Likud Party vote instead of taking it to the entire Israeli public.

Kerry had reached out to Sharon for a meeting on his recent Washington trip, but was rebuffed. Kerry’s speech to the ADL came ahead of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual meeting, which will feature a top Bush administration official, but not Kerry. AIPAC never invites an opposition presidential candidate to speak when an incumbent is running for reelection.

In his speech to the ADL, Kerry sought to extend a prominent campaign theme — that Bush’s conservative agenda has divided the country — into one that resonated with an organization championing dialogue and conciliation.

He celebrated the "notion that we don’t try to have a politics that goes down to the lowest common denominator, but rather lifts people up to the highest-common denominator; that doesn’t try to drive wedges between people in order to govern and conquer, but recognizes the words of Abraham Lincoln — that a house divided against itself cannot stand," Kerry said in his speech.

"And we should ask ourselves in this country why it is that we are so divided today," Kerry said.

Democrats worry that Bush, who has impressed many in the Jewish community with a gut-level affection for Israel and its leaders, could cut into the community’s traditional support for the Democrats.

Kerry’s voting record on Israel is spotless, but he acknowledged the difficulty of conveying his visceral attachment to Jewish causes.

"I want to share with you more personally why that is so," he said in his speech, after repeating his commitment to Israel. "Because you often hear those words, but it’s important to understand sort of how they connect to somebody, what it means."

Kerry recalled shouting "Am Yisrael Chai!" from atop Masada; he delivered a sensitive eulogy to Lenny Zakim, an ADL director in Boston who died of bone marrow cancer in 1999; and he spoke about the scourge of revived anti-Semitism.

Afterward, some Jewish organizational leaders suggested Kerry had really connected.

"When he spoke about his experiences and his 20-year relationship with Lenny Zakim, you could see he had a real connection with the State of Israel and the Jewish community," one said.

But another leader said he wanted to hear more substance on the Middle East.

"There was not a lot of red meat in there," he said. "It was a lot more personal than political."


From: USA | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 10 May 2004 04:16 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A vote for Kerry is a vote for Bush.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 10 May 2004 04:26 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Kerry? Bush? What is the difference?
It is like Harper/Mulmartin.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joe
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4313

posted 10 May 2004 07:53 AM      Profile for Joe     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The catholics have already seen through Mr. wishy wash flip flop. It's unlikely he'll fool very many jews.


New Catholic Website Targets John Kerry

NewsMax.com's Fr. Michael Reilly reports more trouble for the Democrat's presidential nominee on the religious front.

"Catholics Against Kerry" coordinator John Berns is pleased to launch a new website [www.catholicsagainstkerry.com] aimed at Sen. John Kerry.

"Like all Americans, Catholic voters are concerned about the safety of our nation in these dangerous times, the economy, our children's education, and many other issues. Catholics, however, will judge presidential candidates by an additional standard. Catholics seek candidates who best respect and defend Catholic political, social, and moral values."

While Senator Kerry and his staff have used gone to great lengths to convince Catholics that he is a good Catholic, Mr. Berns and his cohorts remain unconvinced.

"Senator Kerry's long record shows that he has consistently chosen to vote against these Catholic values. Catholics Against Kerry will provide Catholic voters with information that will help them make decisions about whether they can cast their votes for a politician who has regularly challenged the teachings of the Catholic faith," he explained.

The organization is run by a group of lay Catholics devoted to persuading America's Catholics to oppose Senator John Kerry's candidacy for President. There is apparently no organizational connection to the Catholic Church or to any other political campaign, organization, or group.

Ultimately, Mr. Berns wants to provide Catholics with the information they need to make an informed decision about the man who wants to be America's second Catholic President.

"We ask Catholics to decide for themselves whether or not they think Senator Kerry will respect and defend Catholic values should he become president," concluded Mr. Berns.


From: alberta | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 10 May 2004 08:13 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Does Bush represent these Catholic values?
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1885

posted 10 May 2004 08:40 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Senator Kerry's long record shows that he has consistently chosen to vote against these Catholic values. Catholics Against Kerry will provide Catholic voters with information that will help them make decisions about whether they can cast their votes for a politician who has regularly challenged the teachings of the Catholic faith.

What Catholic values, specifically? What teachings? I think I can make a good guess, but why is this organisation too chicken to put it's cards on the table? Could it be that they realize some of their more 18th-century views will alienate more voters than they will gain?

After all, the population of misogynist racists in America is dwindling, if slowly.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2938

posted 10 May 2004 09:43 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey Joe, is your last name Troll?
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 10 May 2004 10:02 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What's interesting (well, interesting ... if you're a masochist) about the opening post is that we can watch therein the process whereby the centre of the manufactured consensus is moved steadily to the right. Bush sets the agenda, ever more extreme right; and then Kerry has to adjust to it, moving rightwards himself. All those controversial moves Bush just made in placating Sharon -- suddenly, they're not controversial any longer: Kerry feels he has to rubber-stamp them.

Entirely predictable, of course, but a useful case-study none the less.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2938

posted 10 May 2004 10:14 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
When it comes to I/P, Kerry would by doing this regardless of what Bush did. If he wins, I think he would be more balanced, a la Carter and Clinton, than his current rhetoric indicates.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 10 May 2004 10:19 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm sure he would sound more balanced (how could he not?), but don't you think, josh, that public opinion really does shift if public statements by leaders continue long enough in this vein? I mean, people get used to hearing that Arafat can't be dealt with, or right of return or dismantling all settlements is not practical, and they end up believing, yes?
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2938

posted 10 May 2004 10:34 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree. He certainly doesn't earn any points in the courage department. But, unfortunately, he's not alone. Any politician in the U.S. who stands up to Israel does so at his or her political peril.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 10 May 2004 04:22 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
When it comes to I/P, Kerry would by doing this regardless of what Bush did. If he wins, I think he would be more balanced, a la Carter and Clinton, than his current rhetoric indicates.

True enough, but Clinton was no better than Bush really. Eerything Clinton did set the field for what Bush did in his first term. The first occupation plans were drawn up by Zinnini under Clinton, sanctions et al. Madeliene Albright. Kosovo... the whole bleeding mess, starts with the democrats like Kerry who load the pistol. All the Republicans do is fire the gun off.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4169

posted 10 May 2004 04:55 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I hate to say it yet again, but at least with Bush the sickness of America is exposed. With Kerry, it's just putting a dressing over a serious flesh eating disease . . . sooner or later, dispite the dressing, your body is going to start to fall apart.

Better to let the desease take it's course as quickly aand as openly as possible . . . less people will be hurt in the long run.


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
MT VIEW
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5402

posted 10 May 2004 05:33 PM      Profile for MT VIEW     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by No Yards:
I hate to say it yet again, but at least with Bush the sickness of America is exposed. With Kerry, it's just putting a dressing over a serious flesh eating disease . . .

This is just typical of the Canadian left. When the whole world is out of step but you, ... well, what's the point!?!?


From: Maple Ridge, BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca